India’s most economically and socially well-off districts are among the most insecure places for women to live, reveals a study released on Wednesday.
One such district is the Capital’s business hub —Central Delhi — rated ‘best’ on the Well Being Index (WBI) and ‘worst’ on the Female Security Index (FSI) in India, in a first such comparison over a majority of districts in India.
Some prosperous urban centres such as Mumbai and Chandigarh have high well-being rating but fare poorly on the FSI.
The study by Tata Strategic Management Group derives its rankings by superimposing economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen’s well-being definition on National Sample Survey’s expenditure date on health, education, transport and food for the year 2006-07. For FSI, gender ratio and crime against women data has been considered.
“Some of the most well-off parts of India (Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Western Uttar Pradesh) have the worst ratings in terms of the female security index,” the study said.
These states also have the most skewed sex ratio.
The study indicated poverty has nothing to do with gender discrimination.
The states rated worst or bad on WBI such as Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh have very good FSI rating.
“Discrimination against women is a trend more visible in rich northern Indian states,” said Raju Bhinge, chief executive of the group, in the study.
Identifying a clear divide on female safety, the study said most of northern Indian states have worst FSI ranking whereas peninsular India and parts of eastern India have been rated as one of the best.
However, Delhi has also been rated as one of the most insecure cities for women in India with seven of its nine districts rated as ‘worst’ on FSI.
The district-level WBI index indicates huge disparity among districts within a state even though northern Indian states are better than the rest of India, the study said.
For instance in Karnataka, Bangalore has got best rating on the WBI but Bellary, a rich mining area and Gulbarga, have been rated as bad.
“The findings show that the planners need to look at relevant indicators at the district level for effective action for providing a better life to all citizens,” the study said.